well folks, we’ve been here before. it’s the night before the court date, and i am alternating between cleaning everything in sight and being completely bored and just waiting to watch the drama unfold.
my attorney is so confident that he is practically yawning every time i contact him. the star husband is busy with work, and i’ve just been informed that certain readers require a daily fix of blog-o-mania. wow- so much going on with so little to say…
i wish i had some profound wisdom, on this trial eve, but i’m a vacant space.
i was thinking earlier today about how surreal this whole experience has been. i have a friend whose son got very very sick. I AM NOT IN ANY WAY COMPARING MY SITUATION TO HERS. but she had a relatively new baby, and she chose to go to new york with her sick child and stay with him in the hospital for months and months. lots of us wondered how she was doing it, but nobody really pressed the issue with her family.
why do i bring this up? because it is an amazing phenomena that, even when you have a personal crisis (no, this is not a crisis, thank goodness- but it has been a major disruption), the world keeps on turning. the kids still need clean laundry (a favorite topic of mine, apparently), the house needs to run, the spouse needs your attention. library books are due, bills need to be mailed in time, school supplies need to be bought- and nobody really cares if life is not unfolding according to your own personal timetable.
we happen to be incredibly fortunate to live in a community that has a sense of community. neighbors would be happy to return our library books or get us school supplies. more than one has offered to pick up things from the grocery store. my mom has been great about filling in the gaps. and, of course, i have a super high-functioning husband, who helps more than most. but life can still dump you on your head and then continue on as normal.
i heard today about a man who had junk in his yard. he made money by selling his stuff at swap meets and flea markets and that sort of thing. his city decided that his property violated their junk ordinance, or neatness ordinance, or whatever they called it. and they bulldozed his yard ALONG WITH HIS HOUSE.
now, mind you i have no idea what his property looked like. it could have been something straight out of “hoarders” (one of my guilty indulgences- thank you , netflix). but the point is, the city just took over and smashed up his stuff and smashed up his life. they decided they didn’t like what he was doing and they just trashed his trash.
6 months ago if someone told me that the city government could come after you for an arbitrary reason and upend your life, i would have thought they were a bit nuts. i would have maybe thought they were a conspiracy theorist, or some fringe person.
but it happened to me in real life.
and i am just like you.
i’m not a hoarder or a criminal. i don’t have illegal gambling rings or dog fighting matches or a meth lab in the basement. i don’t have a criminal record, am not part of a “bad” crowd, do not raise any flags as i go about my daily business.
because i am just like you.
my pajamas have rips, my kids sometimes don’t brush their teeth, i forget to run errands i had every intention to do. i lose my cell phone on an alarmingly regular basis, i yell at my kids (oops!), and i let them have cookies at bedtime.
because i am just like you.
and that’s what makes this all so chilling, isn’t it?
it’s not so much about urban gardening or sustainable agriculture or saving water or not using pesticides or fighting big government or eating local or any of hundreds of other noble causes.
it’s about the government in a small friendly town attacking a small friendly person.
and that someone is just like you.
it’s so easy to marginalize other people. it’s so easy to create stories to make ourselves feel safer.
the lady who had her kids taken away was on crack.
the man who is homeless is probably an irresponsible alcoholic.
the kid who ran away was a brat.
the teacher who preyed on her students was a sociopath.
but i’m the lady next door.
i’m the one who makes you soup when you are sick and drives carpool with you and tries to find the best deal on cereal in the grocery store.
and i think, at the core, this is what has fundamentally shaken people up.
because now you have to wonder- if it happened to me, could it happen to you?